Mexican consumers from gobbling up U.S. rejected tomatoes like hotcakes. Olga R. Rodriguez of Associated Press reports:
"We can't sell a single box of tomatoes," said Jesus Macias, sales manager at the Productora Agricola Industrial del Noreste, a tomato grower that normally ships 50,000 boxes of tomatoes a day to an importer in Chula Vista, Calif.Maybe I’m irresponsible—or just lazy—but all this hasn’t changed my tomato buying habits. Whatever the store has, I buy. I haven’t noticed any difference, have you?
Instead, he now sends his top-quality tomatoes to markets around Mexico where they sell for a third the U.S. price. He leaves lesser-quality produce, normally sold in Mexico, to rot.
At the capital's bustling central food market, truckloads of tomatoes are now arriving in boxes originally meant for the United States. The top-quality tomatoes now sell for 35 cents a pound in the capital.
Most customers don't know about the salmonella scare, and those who do don't seem alarmed. Some shoppers said they have always been more careful than Americans in preparing produce -- they have to be, because vegetables sold in Mexico are not held to the same standards as those certified for export.